Dottoressa di ricerca

ciclo: XXXV

supervisore: Fabio Sabatini
co-supervisore: Gianluca Grimalda and Tommaso Reggiani

Titolo della tesi: Inter-action: The Identity of Altruism between Traditions and Beliefs

In this dissertation, we investigate the relationship between culture and pro-social attitudes among migrant generations in Italy. In recent decades, increasing interest concerns the role of culture and religion in economic outcomes. Due to their similarities, these two concepts are very often embedded into a unique definition of culture. Both provide norms and are group identifiers. However, findings suggest different contributions from culture and religion on both behaviour and preferences. Disentangling culture into its two aspects of culture as traditions and religion as beliefs, we conduct an incentivized survey and a field experiment to examine altruistic preferences among Muslim generations in Italy. Lately, Italy has been facing a structural-demographic transformation due to its eldest population in Europe, low marriages and birth rates, and increasing migration flow driven by different reasons (i.e. war, climate change, poverty, etc.). Migrant generations, who are now facing the third offspring generation, are highly understudied and so are Muslim believers. Despite holding of a low share among migrants (33%), Muslims are the largest minority in Italy (20.9%). Empirical and experimental studies conducted on Muslims bring surprising evidence in stark contrast with traditional altruistic theories. Opposite to standard models of indirect reciprocity, previous research shows Muslim believers’ preference towards anonymous and out-group rather than public and in-group causes. Thus, we define culture as cultural integration, religiosity as its intensity, and altruistic preferences as pure and parochial altruism. We find that generosity is not affected by culture and religiosity is the main factor explaining it. However, culture and a sense of adherence are relevant in terms of parochialism, in other words, in-group favouritism. A strong parochial favouritism emerges among donors, especially when they are citizens. These results are common among generations. However, in addition to first-generation and second-generation Muslims, a share of Italian reverted to Islam took part in our study. Surprisingly, they display behaviour and preferences closer to the first-generation rather than the second-generation group. Finally, Muslims are characterized by pure altruism, even though our insights suggest that they are willing to display their identity when the cause of donation is local.

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma